Saturday, September 29, 2007

Village Board Deadlocked

We, at Back To Democracy, are very disappointed that the Village Board failed to pass our resolution last Monday 9/24/07. About 150 people came and filled the room at the Fire Hall. At least two thirds of those present, were in favor of passing the resolution. Mayor Marty Petrovic and Trustee David Filiberto, voted in favor and were eloquent in their comments in support of passage. Trustee Rordan Hart, the only republican on the board, was vehemently opposed as expected. Trustee John Hrubos said that he would like to see Bush and Cheney impeached, but that we didn't stand a chance, and he considered the effort to be a waste of time. It wouldn't have been a waste of time if he had had the courage to vote his conscience, and represent the will of the majority. Instead, he decided to abstain from voting. I assume he thinks that this was the safest position, being closest to the middle of the road. This reminds me of the Jim Hightower quote - The only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow line and dead armadillos. Trustee Chris Thomas also cast a no vote. Of the three trustees that blocked passage, Chris is the most puzzling to me. Of these three, Chris seems like the smartest, and the most open minded. He was open minded enough, for example, to sign the petition after initially refusing. There is some excellent writing about this at

I posted a question to Chris at Finding Ulysses:

Chris Thomas,

Please respond to the posts above here.

My question is how many more signatures would you need to see in-order to change your vote?

Keep in mind that not all registered voters vote, and that a significant percentage of people that would like to see the resolution passed are not comfortable signing. (This is not private, and Bush surely keeps an enemies list)

I will email this to you in case you are not reading this thread.

Here is his email response to me along with my comments:

As an elected official, I don't post on private blogs.

What's so private about it? Several village residents (past supporters of yours in all probability) would like some answers. What are you afraid of?

My vote has been cast. There is no changing it.

Not very open minded of you.

A time was set aside for the village to have a meeting and my decision was based on a careful balance of potential benefits vs. likely detriments.

We would like you to be more specific. It was your idea for us to collect signatures on a petition. Hundreds of hours have been invested in this effort. We deserve several thousand words of explanation.

Because I believe in the content of what you are doing, my suggestion regarding the petition would be to make sure that each and every person who has signed it, has done more than just scribble their signature.

Very condescending. These people were brave to put their names on that petition, and they feel betrayed by you.

I would make sure that each and every one of those people has sent individual letters to each of their state reps, national reps, the Democratic National Party, the Speaker of the House, the new Attorney General, etc...

The acting Attorney General is Peter Keisler, a big defender of the Military Commissions Act and the presidents right to punish "enemy combatants" without that bothersome due process crap. You really think he'll be a big help here?
Nancy Pelosi's office and John Conyer's office are overwhelmed by calls for impeachment. You really think a few more will do the trick?
I've called Barbara Lifton.
I've told the DNC they can forget about contributions until impeachment is back on the table.
What is left is a grassroots movement which you are blocking.

I would wager very few on the petition have done so...

Quite a few Trumansburgers did more than scribble their signatures. They came to the meeting to tell you how important this was to them. It's obvious to most of us that we are the majority. We want an honest open dialogue. We want to know the real reason for your no vote.

230 people cared enough about politics to turn out and vote for you last March. If we could get 230 village residents to ask you to pass this resolution would that be enough? Would you care?

I'm tempted to post this on Finding Ulysses. You wouldn't object would you?

It's been three days, and Chris has not asked me not to post this so I guess it's OK. I'm still puzzled about his vote "based on a careful balance of potential benefits vs. likely detriments" We are left to guess. Let's see, the potential benefits if we were part of a successful effort to impeach, would be enormous and too numerous to list here, but would clearly change the world for the better, and would best represent the will of the community. The likely detriments would be that he would anger a certain portion of his base, but a clear minority. Could it be that this minority is so vindictive that angering them is more detrimental than angering the majority? Maybe we are being to polite.

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Trumansburg, NY, United States